Learning Resources Cuisenaire Rods Small Group Set: Wood
- 155 Rods
- For use with 4-60students
- Packaged in a bucket
Small Group Set Cuisenaire Wood Rods. 155 Rods for use with 4-6 students. In bucket.
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The manufacuring quality of the rods is consistent for each size and throughout the set.
I would recommend buying a larger set of Cuisenaire rods--at least the full set of 241 rods--or two of these smaller sets (which might be cheaper, all in all), as the limitations of the small set become very ovious even when working with the rods by oneself with larger numbers or more rod-intensive configurations.
I am a language teacher who is very interested in Gattegno's extension of Cuisenaire's invention of the colored rods for the teaching of mathematics and languages. I use Cuisenaire rods to create visual analogs of dialogues and sentence patterns so that my students can feel the difference between speaking word by word (which no one does in any language under normal circumstances, but they learn to do after having been conditioned with a grammar + vocabulary aproach to language learning) and instead phrase the words in intonational groups, much like musicians phrase notes and dancers phrase their steps.
On a personal level, I also play around with the Cuisenaire rods to reteach myself basic mathematics, since I am one of the tens of millions of people who hit a wall in their study of math in elementary school. Reading Gattegno's books, I recall the mathematical terms used in class and the terror and confusion I felt as a kid who just wasn't getting it. I also intuitively recognize that, had I been taught visually and not verbally, I would have been much better at math and what Gattegno calls "mathematization."
So I use the rods profesional for language teahcing and personally for my math re-education.
But a heads up. These smell toxic when you first open them. I don’t know what kind of paint they use on them but they need to offgas for a few days before they are usable.
It’d also be nice to have some assurances from the manufacturer that they meet some basic ASTM non-toxicity standards.
Other than that these are great.
First, the good: These rods feel nice in your hands. The plastic is high-quality and solid.
Unfortunately, because of how the plastic rods are manufactured, they bulge out at the sides. Not a lot, just enough that you can't stack the rods on top of each other, and so that, crucially, eight one rods don't actually add up to one eight rod. Of course, a major reason for using C-rods is so a child can develop an intuitive sense that eight of these is exactly one of these, etc., so this is a pretty big concern.
For an hour or so, I thought I was overreacting, but my mathy spouse came home, started to play with our brand-new C-rods, and after about 30 seconds said "These don't work the way they're supposed to work." Alas. I'm going to return these and pick up a set of the wood rods. I've heard good things about the wooden Mathematics Made Meaningful set (unfortunately not sold by Amazon at this time... hint, hint.) and may try that one instead.